The Stresses of Being a North American Woman

Being Thin/Pretty

This one is a classic for the North American society.  All women are supposed to be thin and pretty in this culture.  I can’t even imagine the amount of pressure women face to be like this. When I was young it was being “big” and “strong/muscular”, but I don’t know if this is comparable.  I don’t think I would be scorned the way an overweight or unattractive woman is. 

Let’s face it.  Women are supposed to be thin, but when surrounded by the amount of stress many of them are, they turn to eating.  They comfort themselves through many different types of food, as well as alcohol.  And unfortunately, North American women mistakenly believe that whatever they eat can be “burned” off at the gym.  Quick fact here:  many people burn more calories than they eat in the course of a day.  But they still don’t lose weight.  How is this possible you may ask?  Because when a person is toxic, form eating unhealthy foods, prescription drugs, alcohol, stress and a variety of other sources, the body absorbs toxins into the fat and will not break that fat down so as to protect the person form re-releasing that back into the body and potentially causing harm.  Therefore no amount of exercise will help get those pounds off, they must be detoxified. 

The stress that these women face about being thin certainly contributes to not being thin.

The second part is truly sad, involving being pretty.  There is only so much that can be done with a person’s face through cosmetics, fashion, hairstyling and such.  If a person is not that pretty, it is difficult to change that.  That is nature, as well as people’s opinions, influenced by their societal upbringing.  To put pressure on someone because of things they cannot possibly change, is the height of foolishness.  An example of this from my own life, which illustrates this as well as women shooting themselves in their own feet on these issues, is about Prince Charles.   I remember hearing some of my family members speaking about his new wife, Camilla.  They had nothing but disparaging remarks to make about her, based solely on that fact that she is not a classic beauty, and certainly not as attractive as princess Diana.  But here you have a rich and powerful man who is marrying a woman who is likely his best friend and whom he is in love with very much.  He obviously has other options in terms of potential wives, and some of those may be significantly more attractive. But he prefers to marry for love, not for looks.  And here are women, who on the surface say that they believe people should marry for love, disapproving of a woman solely because of the way she looks.  Not only is this a sign of foolishness, but also of women (and my family members are certainly not alone in this) contradicting themselves in what they say they believe.  They should be holding this as an example of how times are changing and people are more sophisticated in the ways of the heart, with the ability to look past what people look like into their hearts and be happy.

Good Mothers/Wives

In this category, North American women face the same role as all women around the world do.  It in ingrained in every culture that this role is one in which she will be judged by.  Ask yourself what your first opinion is if you walk into a home of a family with a stay at home wife, or even one who works, and it is dirty or otherwise unkempt.  What is your opinion if you see a child who consistently has dirty clothes, or poor hygiene?  I believe that almost everyone will have the same opinion, that the woman related to these situations is failing in her role.  It is really not too different around the world.

Having a career

In North America women who have careers are quite frequent in the professional setting.  This is a great thing if that is what the woman desires.  But this woman is likely to face tremendous familial pressure if she does have a family to be able to act in the role of wife and primary child caregiver, as shown above.  She also faces the problem that if she concentrates on her career and does not have a family, in some way she has not fulfilled her duty as a woman.  Although it is not necessarily said to women, it is certainly implied and felt by those around her.  This is another role which may conflict with the one above.

Taking Care of Boys

This role is not one that is as well defined, but virtually all North American women will verify it quite enthusiastically.  By boys, we mean males of adult age who are actually boys.  We have already defined why these boys are the way they are.  But what we have not shown is that this is one of the roles for women in addition to the ones above.   As males are “supposed” to rail against the lack of freedom that being in a relationship or a marriage brings, so to are women supposed to control them, love them, and keep them in the relationship, occasionally letting them out to play with their other friends and likely be “bad”.  On a recent trip to China I was on a tour with about 15 other couples, almost all form Canada.  Many of the males in the group were incredibly immature, the sad point being that some of them were in their fifties.  It was like they took any opportunity to “act up”, by abandoning their wives for fun when a trolly came along and they hoped on and left their wives behind, by drinking too much and making even more of an ass out of themselves than normal, by trying to spend every last penny they had on junk from the street vendors, etc.   I watched the stress on the faces of their wives, and I truly feel for them.  I can only imagine what day to day living must be like.  I am not saying that it is unacceptable to have fun, I find my days are very fun filled.  But it is not filled with any “stress inducing fun”, such as the situation listed above will no doubt induce.

This is another added pressure to women, not only do they have to fulfill all of the obligations of the roles above, but they also have to control their partners and keep them in line.  This is an incredibly stressful role to have to maintain, and more and more women are adapting to it subconsciously, likely in perfect correlation with how many males are staying like boys there entire life.       

-An excerpt from the book Asian Fever: White Women Take Note

Clarita Lorenzano

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